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KNOXVILLE, TENN., Jan. 12th, 1889. To His Excellency, ROBERT L. TAYLOR,
Governor of Tennessee : SIR :—We have the honor to submit to you herewith the Annual Report of the Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of Tennessee, in accordance with the Act of Congress commonly known as the “Hatch Experiment Act,” and the Act of the General Assembly of Tennessee, accepting the same and bestowing them upon this Experiment Station. Section 5 of the first mentioned Act contains the following: "It shall be the duty of each of said Stations, annually, on or before the first day of February, to make to the Governor of the State or Territory in which it is located, a full and detailed report of its operations, including a statement of receipts and expenditures; a copy of which report shall be sent to each of said Stations, to the said Commissioner of Agriculture, and to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States."
The Act of the General Assembly of Tennessee, Laws of 1887, ch. 220, accepted this donation and bound the State and us to conform to its requirements. This report is presented to you in conformity with this requirement.
Hoping that it will prove satisfactory to your Excellency, we remain, with great respect,
Your obedient servants,
CHAS. W. DABNEY, JR., President. S. H. SMITH, Secretary.
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE.
REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR.
To the Honorable the Board of Control of the Agricultural Experi
ment Station, and the Board of Trustees of the University of
Tennessee: GENTLEMEN—I have the honor to submit below “A full and detailed report of the operations” of the Agricultural Experiment Station under our direction, for the fiscal year ending July ist, 1888, and the working year ending January ist, 1889, together with the reports of the several Divisions of this Station.
It is not understood that this should be a report for the farmers, or contain a full account of the experiments made; but it is to be an official statement or account of our stewardship over the funds given us. The law provides that the Bulletins which must be sent to all farmers who desire them, shall contain this other matter.
HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION. The so called “Hatch Experiment Station Act," under which this Station is now operating, is already too well known to you and the people of the State, to need lengthy explanation at this place; but it is necessary to refer to a few points in this Act in order to explain the relations of this Experiment Station to the State and the United States. The preamble of this Act states that its purpose was “ To aid in acquiring and diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects connected with agriculture, and to promote scientific investigation and experiment respecting the principles and applications of agricultural science.” In order to carry this out, the Act provided that there should be established "under the direction of
the college or agricultural department of colleges in each State or Territory, in accordance with the provisions of the Act approved July 2d, 1862, entitled, 'An Act donating public lands to the several States and Territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts,' a department to be known and designated as 'an Agricultural Experiment Station.'"
This new institution was thus to be established under the direction of the college, or the agricultural department of the college already established in the State, under the Act of July 2, 1862, commonly known as the Land-grant Act. This, and the other donations for this purpose, were made “subject to the Legislative assents of the several States and Territories to the purposes of said grants."
In accordance with this Act of Congress, the General Assembly of Tennessee passed an act on the 28th of March, 1882, accepting the donation and bestowing it upon the Agricultural College of the University of Tennessee, as it was bound to do, and instructing the Board of Trustees of the said University to carry out all the purposes of the said Act of Congress. The Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee promptly decided, in order the better to carry out all the purposes of the Act of Congress, to thoroughly re-organize the Agricultural Department of the University, with which the new institution was connected by law, and proceeded to do so at the annual meeting in July, 1887.
The undersigned, who up to that time had been the Director of the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station, was called to take the Directorship of the Tennessee Station, and entered upon his duties on the 4th of August, 1887.
Impressed with the importance of establishing closer relations between the farming interests of the State and their Agricultural College, your Board of Trustees had, in June, 1882, established an Agricultural Experiment Station upon the basis of its Agricultural Department of the College of that time. At that time, this action of the Board of Trustees exhibited a most progressive and commendable spirit. There were then very few experiment stations in this country, and though the station established by the Board was at first very inadequately supported, this action secured the State of Tennessee the credit of having started one of the first five of these institutions in America, which have since proved so useful that they secured this magnificent recognition from the United States Congress. The action of the Board of Trustees referred to, deserves, therefore, to be noted in the history of agricultural science and education. The resolution of the Board, establishing this Station, on June 8th, 1882, is published in the appendix to this Report. It states that the object of the
Experiment Station was to be “the promotion of the agricultural interests of Tennessee by practical and scientific experimentation and investigation."
The General Assembly of the State passed an Act providing for fertilizer inspection and analysis and devoted a part of the license tax collected on this account to the support of the Experiment Station, which was charged, in turn, at the same time, with the duty of analyzing samples of fertilizers and other things of interest to the farmers of the State. This tax yielded only a very small revenue, varying from $700 to $1,000 per annum. Your Board of Trustees had very limited funds from other sources which could be devoted to this purpose and the Station, as a result, suffered severely from want of means from that time, until its re-organization under the "Hatch Experiment Station Act.”
In spite of these disadvantages, however, the Station was organized with a Board of Control, Director and Chemist, and did a considerable amount of most excellent work. During this period, three reports of 150 to 200 pages each, which gave the results of the experimental work, consisting, for the most part, of field and feeding experiments, were published, and attracted most favorable attention. They were highly appreciated by the farmers and eagerly sought for and read.
When the Act of Congress referred to was passed, in March, 1887, it was believed that it carried the necessary appropriation with it and that the Experiment Station could be organized at once. Much to the surprise of the friends of the Act, but, as it appeared later, most wisely and properly from a legal standpoint, the Comptroller of the Treasury ruled that a separate provision would have to be made in the regular appropriation bills of Congress for the support of these Stations. As this had not been done by the Congress just adjourned, it was necessary to wait until the next session of Congress. So it was that, though your Board organized the Tennessee Experiment Station under Act of Congress in July, 1887, it had to suspend its proceedings in large part until the Spring of 1888, when the first funds were actually received under the Act.
Desiring to do all you could under the circumstances, it was deterinined however, in September, 1887, to place two other men on the Station staff and to begin to make plans and preparations for its work. The services of Professor Charles S. Plumb, who at that time filled the position of Assistant Director of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, at Geneva, one of the oldest and most famous of these institutions, were secured for the proposed Division of “Field and Feeding Experiments,” and Mr. C, L. Newman, originally an Assistant at the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, was engaged as Assistant Professor Plumb entered upon his duties on the 15th of October, 1887, and Mr. Newman on the ist of September. Such experimental work as could be carried on with the very limited means supplied by the University, were undertaken at once, but the time of the Station staff, as then organized, was occupied for the most part in making plans and looking up men for the work of the extensive bureau which was established in the following spring. These Reports will show that no time was lost in making these arrangements, and that considerable work was done with very limited means.
The old Experiment Station of the University of Tennessee had never had any building, or even apartments, of its own, no laboratories or scientific apparatus, no stock or utensils, no land or equipments of any kind. It occupied such rooms in the University buildings as could be provided for it, and used the instruments, stock and land of the Agricultural College, free of rent. Analyses were made by the Chemist in the close quarters afforded by the College laboratory
An Experiment Station of the kind projected in the Act of Congress, could not possibly be carried on in such quarters and under such circumstances. It must have a building for Chemical, Botanical and Biological Laboratories, for a Library and for offices and workrooms. It should have stables, plant and tool houses, and other experimental farm buildings. Facilities for strictly scientific work were the first to be provided.
The friends of the Experiment Station Act found no trouble in getting Congress to pass a bill, at a remarkably early date, which made the funds for the Station available about the ist of March, 1888. In anticipation of this, the plans for an Experiment Station building, to contain the required laboratories and offices, were made, so that the building could be commenced promptly upon the receipt of the funds. A number of the leading scientific men of the country were consulted about the plans for the building, and they were drawn by Mr. Charles L. Carson, of Baltimore, who was the architect of some of the John Hopkins University laboratories.
The University had undertaken to erect a building for its Agricultural Department some years before. This was a simple structure of brick 30x60 feet, two stories high, and divided off into two apartments below and one above, which were connected by a large hall and staircase. This building had never been entirely completed, though it was occupied by the Agricultural Department for several years. It was decided to make a large and handsome addition to this building and complete it for the exclusive uses of the Experiment Station and the Agricultural Department of the